Got the winter blues? Maybe a little exercise is just the remedy! Regular exercise has clear benefits from weight management and better sleep to maintaining muscle, joint, and bone mass. Proper nutrition, combined with regular exercise, is key to preventing falls - or injury - when a fall occurs.
As with any new routine, getting started can be the biggest challenge. You may not be able to go to the gym or your local senior center, but there are many free online tutorials to help you get and stay motivated!
There are various forms of strength and balance exercises you can start practicing today to reduce your chances of a fall and maintain overall physical health in your years to come. Here are some ways you can get - and stay - moving:
Yoga and Other Low-Impact Exercises
Whether you’re concerned about bone health or ways in which you can reduce anxiety and depression, the benefits of yoga for older adults continue to surprise and inspire healthcare professionals, patients, and everyone in between. Different ages call for different forms and poses, like yin yoga, for example, which is a slower practice. This style consists of holding poses for upwards of 20 minutes, and is especially beneficial for lubricating and nourishing the joints, which becomes essential in your late 50s and early 60s.
Light strength-training is another low-impact exercise that does wonders for muscle mass when it comes to fall and injury prevention. From elastic resistance bands to light hand weights, there are plenty of things you can do right at home that will go a long way.
And remember, walking is still one of the best exercises for your entire body, so when in doubt, walk it out!
Coordination and balance are vital to improving stability and preventing falls and becomes increasingly important with each passing year for everyday health. The good news is that there are so many simple ways to incorporate balance exercises into your daily routine. For instance, a one-foot balance is something you can do while brushing your teeth. Try it for 10 seconds on each foot, each night, and as your balance starts to increase, increase your time. Another option is the sit-to-stand exercise, which helps to build leg strength and improve overall body mechanics—and all you need is a sturdy chair. To start, sit comfortably with your feet flat on the ground and then lean forward slightly (while squeezing your gluteal muscles) and slowly rise to a standing position. Like with many others, repeating this exercise can make a significant long-term impact on your strength and flexibility.
Keeping It All Together
While regular exercising is critical, staying on top of all areas of your physical health is key to wellness. From proper nutrition and careful management of medications and treatment to get enough sleep, several factors play a role in the aging process. Keeping a close eye on all of your physical changes for better or worse will help ensure a healthier and happier future.
Balancing exercises are easy to do wherever you are, so this week, pick one exercise to master and make part of your daily routine, whether morning or at night. When you get the hang of it, increase the difficulty, and see how long you can keep it going. You may surprise yourself and enjoy the challenge.
If you are caring for a loved one, you may find some helpful tips in our guide below!